As funny and elegant as it is gently devastating, the most recent film from director E J-yong tells a tale of shame and disgrace that feels as fresh as an open wound. Youn Yuh-jung gives a masterful star turn as a sixtysomething prostitute who spends her days in public parks, offering bottles of Bacchus (a brand-name energy drink) to old men as a code for sexual favors. When a touch of gonorrhea leaves her unable to ply her trade, she is forced to find other services to offer her clients and soon turns to a darker business. In the hands of another director, this setup could have been grounds for crass exploitation, but E (Actresses) eschews satire for a lighthearted yet incisive examination of taboo topics, including the U.S. military’s use of prostitutes and the shameful neglect of the elderly in contemporary Korea. A New York Asian Film Festival 2016 selection.
English, French, Korean